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Updating the Super Street Mopar

I was able to get some time in on the car today. I dropped the engine/trans back out as I need to work in the area around the trans mount/torsion bar x-member area. Markings on the collectors are where the O-2 bungs go. The new trans mount got its holes punched in. I enlarged the existing holes in the original x-member area that will get re-used for new thru tubes that the trans mount horizontal bolts go through. From there I marked out material to finish off the spots not hit yet for the x-member reinforcing. It's way easier to do when standing as opposed to laying on the creeper. Tomorrow will be cut, weld and grind day to get that area finished off. From there I'll hit the back of the car to tackle the spring relocation. Due to where the shackle sleeves will be in the frame rail, I'll need to make cuts in the trunk floor so I can get the drill motor and hole saw in to make the sleeve holes in the frame. No big deal as I planned on re-doing that area so I can use an off the shelf early Stang fuel tank, hopefully the 22 gal one, which will fit between the rails and be EFI ready. After all of that is squared away I'll get onto the passenger compartment floor re-do's and fill in. I went to Santa Maria on Monday and got a sheet of 20ga cold rolled so I now have material to use on the floor. The original stuff I removed was 20 also. This will give me a chance to re-learn how to use my metal forming machines and skills.


I considered building my engine and trans cart that high to reduce how far down I’d have to bend over to work on it all.
I was concern that it might be too heavy. How does yours feel when rolling it around ?
Got to hang out with the strippers today. Oops, meant stripper! I still have to use mechanical means to finish as the material I used was old. Can was still sealed up but was still lacking in some areas. No big deal. I read on the net that mastic and floor adhesive remover is supposed to be the bomb for undercoating. I will nab some tomorrow and hit the backsides of the inner fenders. They need to be cleaned off too for all the holes and repairs that will involve welding. Man there is a grip of holes to fill beyond just the firewall stuff. How do you like the "bigs and littles" going on with the tires? Shades of Big Daddy with his dragster. One of the layers of paint is the original color which is a burgundy of sorts. Think I'm staying with the Porsche red though. I also continued fitting up the SD Concepts front drive unit. The rest of the accessory units showed up today. I want to get that stuff fitted up before it ends up in the engine compartment. Much easier to deal with stuff when its on a stand and is easier to see and get at.

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Nice job on the car. Can you tell me rim size and tire size on the back?
I considered building my engine and trans cart that high to reduce how far down I’d have to bend over to work on it all.
I was concern that it might be too heavy. How does yours feel when rolling it around ?
It rolls around fine. Caster were rated for 300lbs each. There is roughly 600lbs sitting there when loaded.
Nice job on the car. Can you tell me rim size and tire size on the back?
When I bought the car, it was 15x8 Welds all around with 4" bs. It had 265/50-15 Goodyear Gatorbacks all around, probably close to 20yrs old. Hard, greasy etc. I put 275/60-15's on the back, 235/60-15's on the front. The new combo will be on 18's for sure on the front, maybe 19's on the back. I would like to see if I can get a 315/30 on front and a 325 or wider on the rear. Thats off in the future. I saw this at SEMA. A wheel/tire setup tool. Sold by Speedway. This will be something to purchase in the future. You can actually put a tire on it and move it around to check for fitments. Keeps you from making mistakes, at least lessens them.



The last few days I got some more pieces fitted and welded onto the t-bar x-member. I ended up making an all new trans mount, will give me more exhaust clearance for later. Tomorrow? I'll get back on it and will get the new upper hoop in. After all that stuff is in, lots of welds to knock down. When I get that area finished off I'm heading to the back end for the spring relocation. Part of that is going to be a head scratcher since I want to weld all around the unit to attach it to the SFC's and the old spring hanger, which gets used to locate the new unit, is also in the way for welding. May have to get three sides welded then cut the old hanger some. Not sure. I'll figure that out when I get there.


Got some more grinding done this afternoon. Have plenty more to do still. It sure is nice to be able to stand under the car for this as opposed to laying on a creeper. Here are also some shots of the spring relocation upcoming project. From the photos you can see the dilemma I made reference about but I think I have a solution. As you can see, the boxes locate off of the existing holes once the offending area is cut away. The problem is that I'll only be able to weld three sides not four since the structure is there for the original location. What I'm thinking is to cut the new boxes in the 90* corner then tack weld the four hole flange back on. Once I have the three sides securely welded I'll cut the tacks them temporarily remove part of the spring hanger section so that I can get the fourth side welded. After that I'll weld the structure back in. At least thats what I'm currently contemplating.





I've been getting some time in on the middle section, t-bar area, since the last shots. Today I wrapped up the ground side of the area. Once I finished up the area, I whipped out the vacuum to suck up the last couple weeks of grinding grit. Wednesday I'll get started on the rear spring relocation.





I cut out the rh rail/sfc in preparation for the new spring box. Now need to get the cut areas trimmed down for the unit and figure out what I'll do around the old mount area. I made up a template for the shackle area, then marked out the areas for cuts there. Before I make the cuts, I'm going to re-verify there will be enough room for the rear spring eye and shackle during its travel from loaded to droop.






I finished doing the basic area prep for the new box. Two of the surfaces will be fairly easy for welding the box to the sfc after I trim back the outer layer of the existing frame rail. The top side I think can be gotten to after I peel up the floor section I cut so it could be accessed. The outer vertical area is going to be interesting since thats where the oe spring hanger mount unit exists. I'm thinking, like I said before, that I'll need to cut that unit out so that I can get in and weld the oe rail and sfc to the new spring box. From there weld that unit back in so the rockers and other panels have their support back. I went ahead and cut the mount flange on the new box then tacked it back together so I can anchor three of the areas with weld then cut the tacks to get that outer area welded then will re-weld the mount piece back to the box and weld it to the oe spring mount. On the fitting of the new box, I found that the upper area at the front needed to be ground down to clear the floor. There are three seperate layers there and it was either grind the box some or cut the layers back so I chose to grind and not disturb those layers. Since it made the box thin there, I did some welding on the spring side of the box to give some strength back to it. Also the box is about a half inch short in length leaving an open area on the rail so I added a piece there which will get trimmed to fit.






The fitting of the first box continues. I trimmed the extension that was added on, knocked the welds down. Bolted it back in place and saw an area to bring down a little more. Put a level on it to check if it was plumb, good to go there. Then with my 7' one, I put it in the box to duplicate the spring been in there and found that it would have the rear of the spring almost back to the stock location. WTF moment! I looked at the instructions again, which are beyond vague btw and they talk about getting stuff squared up but no mention to make sure it's going to line up with the new shackle location. Its not being held up anywhere, cut through the rail like it says in the instructions so its all flushed across the cut rail to the 4 bolt welded in bracket that used to have the front spring hanger mounted there. With a c-clamp at a bit of a diagonal I was able to pull the box around so it would be lined up to the new shackle area. Glad I didn't pull the trigger and weld fully. I'll take some shots of that tomorrow to help explain this issue. On the USCT site they have the same info I have, no pictures of any install in progress step by step. The instructions for the mini tubs seem detailed so far, news as it happens for that area.





As I mentioned in the previous post, the USCT instructions for the spring boxes blow. They give you two choices, quick and dirty or spend some time squaring them up. On both you cut the rail so it's flush with the oe spring mount section which I did[ first picture]. However if you weld it in either way you end up, at least I did, with the spring heading off towards the old shackle hole[ second picture]. With the c-clamp on a diagonal, I was able to get the box pulled around so the spring would be in line with the rail like it's supposed to[ third picture]. I have a decent amount of it welded in now, will continue on it tomorrow or so. The unit not lining up in the new position could be an attachment error with the oe piece not being square to the rail. Who knows.




After some inspection of what would be needed to get at the outer vertical area of the new box to weld it to the SFC, I elected to just get some weld on the inner corner. There would need to be several layers and structure items cut out to get that one area done so I elected not to get that picky. You can see in the pics what is there and it would be a major pain to pull off. I did get some ideas though on what to do on the left one though in that outer area. I have most of the rh one welded in, will finish it up after I get the lh one in. I did get the lh section cut out after doing some work in the backyard digging the first of my planter holes in the sand. 55 gallon plastic barrels with holes drilled in the bottom for drainage. Have fun getting through these Gopher scum!






Today I got the mount area on the lh side cleaned up and squared off. I checked to see if it was going to be a repeat of the rh side not lining up to the new shackle area and it was. So I'll just repeat the same procedure with a big c-clamp on a diagonal pulling it around till it's lined up to the shackle area for the spring. I went a head and cut the 4 bolt mount flange off then put a couple of tack welds to stick it back to the box like I did on the rh side. Once the area was cleaned/squared off I got an idea for the 3 layers in the photo on getting them all stuck together since peeling the layers back is just about impossible. What I'm going to do is edge weld the 3 layers together then touch them up with the grinder so they will be back to a flush surface and just try to get the gun in as best as possible on that outer corner. On the other side I'm going to pop some holes into the outer flange for rosette welds, slit the lower corner, trim back the vertical edge like I did on the rh side so I can weld the box to the SFC, put clamps onto the rail and pull the rail wall into the SFC then do the rosette welds there.



Yesterday I got most of the lh box welded in after a re-check to make sure it lines up with the shackle area. Good to go.
Made the slits in the existing rail so it could be pulled in flush with the SFC. Got the clamps on it and gave it some welds. Boy do I struggle sometimes with overhead welding. This is when I envy those with a rotisserie. Get the area in decent position so it doesn't look like a rookie was there. Oh well, use what I have and learn. I also added some gussets between the new boxes and the old spring mount area.



I did some more welding on the lh box. Towards the front of it, its too tight to get in there with my Mig gun so Islit the floor some more under the back seat and got that area welded from the inside plus where the tip of the box meets the SFC. After that I knocked the ugly overhead welds down from the roadside then repositioned the cribbing back under that area for better balance of the car in addition to moving the scissor jacks forward, ahead of the blue tape now, so I could work on the shackle area. I went with an easier to pull off solution there kind of like the frame notching for a lowered truck. Made most of the cuts on the lh side, will need to finish the cuts with a saw. See the blue tape. To fill in the notched area I picked up some 1/8"x2" strap to weld in. The rails are 14ga material[ .078"], I have some 12ga[ .109"] material which would probably work but I decided to do the 1/8" so I had another 15 thou in thickness over the 12 and 47 thou more than the 14, thinking more is better. On the outside of the rails you can see where the bumper attaches and also a small leg from the original shackle rail to the main one. The front mount hole will need to get repositioned and the bracket modified accordingly. The little leg got trimmed back some.





Today I finished cutting out the notch for the lh side. Smoothed out the rough edges and removed the burrs. You can see in the one photo where I'm holding up the cutout piece that shows the forward bumper bracket frame nut. In between it and the back one is a large hole with nothing behind it. I used that to weld in a flanged nut for the new forward attachment. I needed to slot the hole some with a carbide cutter so there is as much of the nut as possible without trimming it down. Cut out the fill in pieces, trimmed them some then got them welded in before I knocked off. This is deffinetly more involved than what USCT sets you up with but I don't want my ride height raised so this is my solution. Next go around will be to do the rh side. After that I'll cut the trunk floor some to allow access for my drill with the hole saw to be able to punch the new hole for the new shackle bushing sleeve.






Boy do I struggle sometimes with overhead welding.

Me too. When you're trying to bridge gaps, the weld wants to drip off instead of build up.
Yea, even minor ones. Gravity all of a sudden isn't my friend. Keeps me in practice though. Fun part will be when I do the 20ga stuff on the floor. My welder is supposed to be able to do it but lots of complaining from it.
I got the rh unit done today. Started doing some grinding to smooth things up[ no pics as thats boring]. Couple of spots to do weld touch up but thats ok. It was interesting to see the stiffeners inside the rail towards the front. Wonder if they were for trailer hitch attachment[ second photo]. Tomorrow touch up the welds, finish grinding, do a little clean up with the car as there is a lot of grit on the floor and lift then cut the trunk floor so I can get to the rails with the hole saw for the new shackle sleeves.